How My Vice Spending Is Going
by Brendan O’Connor
10. Booze is expensive. It’s easy to spend a lot of money on booze.
9. It’s also easy to spend a lot of money on cigarettes. This is a thing that I started doing recently, because I stopped spending money on booze. Full stop. No more booze. “You gotta die of something,” people say. “Stop smoking,” other people say. Who is correct? I do not know. We are all correct. We are all wrong.
8. The cigarettes that I smoke are expensive. $14.50 a pack. They are very hip cigarettes, I think, because they are additive-free. This sounds like it is a good thing. It is difficult to tell, because they are still poison-sticks that coat your lungs in death. But at least it’s natural death, you know? I remember seeing an ad for them in a magazine when I was in high school and misreading that as “addictive-free.” Do you think that is on purpose?
7. I should probably stop smoking.
6. Like seriously, $14.50?
5. But then again, I didn’t stop drinking because of ‘budgetary constraints.’
4. There are 20 cigarettes to a pack. Let’s say I smoke four a day, that’s five days to get through a pack. That’s an average of I don’t know, something in the order of $23 — I dunno, that just seems like a good number — a week on a vice that is definitely not going to last particularly long because I also like to work out and the absurdity of smoking a cigarette after yoga is way too LOL for me to handle for much longer. Anyway, whatever it is, it’s WAY less than I was spending on booze.
3. I should still quit, though. I’ve only just started!
2. It sure is nice though to have a thing where you go stand outside with a group of people for 5–10 minutes away from the noise and confusion of wherever you were together
1. Especially if you are at a bar, which is a place that many people like to socialize, and which is sometimes not always the most fun place to be when you are trying to get and stay sober, but you still want to be with your friends and meet new people, and smoking offers both a reason to take a break by stepping outside for a few minutes and some other thing over which to bond with people, since you can’t do shots or buy people a round anymore. Well, I suppose you could, but you couldn’t partake in it. I dunno. We’ll always have coffee, I suppose.
Brendan O’Conner lives in New York.